Having both boat and fishing gear in top condition, great teamwork and a good time was the recipe for success for the Top Boat team aboard the Chamita, in the 51st Curacao Yacht Club Blue Marlin Release Tournament. What’s more, it was the Chamita’s Nick van Liempt who scored Top Angler and Roland Chapman who won Top Captain. This led the sports fishermen aboard the Luhrs 36’ Express to nearly sweep the prizes in this March 25 to 26 tournament, held out of Willemstad.
“On the first day, the 25th, we were trawling towards the eastern point of Curacao when less than an hour after lines in, Nick caught and released the winning blue marlin, an estimated 260-pounder on 30-pound line,” tells Chapman. “We saw the fish coming up behind the right flat line, which was positioned just after the right teaser. The fish took the lure and took off on a long run. After about 25 minutes, the marlin came very close to the boat and we thought it was a done deal. However, the fish was tail wrapped and managed to take off again. It took Nick, I and the rest of the team team another hour before we could release this awesome fish which was still full of energy.”
The Chamita team – which also included Pierre Montesant, Rene Boutmy and Philip Chapman, earned five trophies in total (including first catch and first day win), a nice cash booty and great memories that proved priceless.
Sea Ross II and Nanny ended second and third in the overall boat standings, respectively.
Wissem Isa on the Nanny fought what he thought was a big blue marlin for nearly three hours. When he got it to the boat, the catch turned out to be a 160-pound yellow fin tuna, for which Isa received the Largest of this specie award.
In other awards, Kenrick Irausquin on the Paso Largo landed the Largest Wahoo at 43.4-pounds, and Edwin Sluis on Le Grand Blue, the Largest Mahi, a 42.5-pounder. Dirk van Vliet, aboard Crazy Lady, received the Consolation Prize after he hooked up his first blue marlin of the tournament at just over one minute after lines out.
Twenty-one boats and 65 fishermen from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Venezuela competed in the 51st Curacao Yacht Club Blue Marlin Release Tournament.